Kitchen cabinets, particularly those made of wood
First, remove the contents of the cabinets and drawers. Check your cabinet for signs of rot or damage. If you find any, replace them before you start with your refinishing project.
If you are working in your kitchen, it is a good idea to cover the counters and floors using a drop cloth.
Next, unscrew the hinges of the wooden cabinets using a drill. Remove all drawers as well. Take knobs, pulls or handles off of your kitchen cabinets.
Clean the doors of your wooden kitchen cabinet using a concentrated degreaser made specifically for cleaning the kitchen. You can use a cleaner called Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP) that is ideal for cleaning wooden cabinet surfaces and is available in the paint department of big hardware stores.
Give the cabinet doors a thorough rub down. Make sure that they are free of grease and grime. Move on to the cabinets themselves. Make sure to clean the entire surface area of your cabinets, down to the corners. Once you have covered the entire area, wipe it down using a cloth rinsed in warm water and leave them to dry. It is necessary for cabinets to be totally clean for the refinishing to work.
Fill in any dents, cracks and scratches on your wooden kitchen cabinets, including hinge holes, using a carpenter's wood putty, or wood dowels and wood glue. Choose wood putty that is similar in color to the original wood of your kitchen cabinet.
Sand your kitchen cabinets and drawers using a 100 grit sandpaper and electric sander. Finish it off by sanding your cabinets and drawers by hand using 150 grit sandpaper.
After sanding your wooden cabinets and drawers, remove all sanding dust using a tack rag.
If possible, take your kitchen cabinets to a warm, ventilated area for the wood stain application, then do so. Otherwise, make sure your kitchen is warm enough and well-ventilated. Apply the wood stain to your kitchen cabinets and drawers using a fine-bristled brush. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then wipe it off using a clean rage. Leave it to dry for 24 hours.
After letting the wood stain dry for 24 hours, apply varnish or polyurethane to your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Consider applying two coats for a smooth, durable finish. Be careful to sand gently in between coats of varnish or polyurethane.
After the varnish or polyurethane is dry, replace the doors and drawers of your wooden kitchen cabinets. Also put the knobs, pulls or handles of the cabinet back in place. You might also want to consider getting new knobs handles or pulls for your newly refinished cabinet.
If you took your wooden cabinets out of the kitchen for your refinishing project, bring them back inside the kitchen once the varnish or polyurethane has completely dried.